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No. 25 SMU Bows Out Of NCAA Tournament Against No. 1 FSU

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No. 25 SMU Bows Out Of NCAA Tournament Against No. 1 FSU

Postby PonyPride » Sat Nov 20, 2021 10:23 am

From SMUMustangs.com:

No. 25 SMU Bows Out Of NCAA Tournament With Loss At No. 1 Florida State
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (SMU/NCAA) – The SMU women's soccer season came to an end Friday night at No. 1 Florida State with a 5-1 loss in the second round of the NCAA Women's Soccer Championship.

"They are a really good team," SMU head coach Chris Petrucelli said of Florida State. "And I don't think we played that poorly…We knew we were in for a battle, and again, I thought our guys did really well. They just had too much for us."

Lindsey Whitmore put the Mustangs on the scoreboard in the 81st minute with a penalty kick. It was the first SMU goal against a No.1-ranked team in program history. After she threw the ball in, Whitmore broke toward the left side of the FSU box. She received the ball back just before entering the opponent's 18 and split two defenders before she was tripped, setting up the goal.

The Mustangs defeated then-No. 21 Texas 2-0 in the first round to earn the right to play the Seminoles for the first time in program history. It was just the third time in program history SMU faced the nation's top-ranked team. The win against the Longhorns was the first NCAA Tournament win since 2006.

"Coming into it, I thought, 'We were going to win either way,'" Petrucelli said with a laugh. "We might lose on the scoreboard, but we were going to win because this is good for our players, good for our program overall. It's great for our kids to get into this kind of environment, play in front of the crowd and be on the field with great players, and there were great players everywhere. I think it's just a real good experience for our group."

The Mustangs (12-5-2) were even with the 2020 national runner-up through 20 minutes of action, but an SMU foul committed just outside of the 18-yard box gave Florida State (18-1-2) an opportunity it would not miss. Yujie Zhao curled the ball over the wall from right to left and off the left post. The shot that narrowly missed the outstretched hands of Samantha Estrada bounded across the goal line for the first score of the match in the 22nd minute.

SMU conceded a second goal less than six minutes later. Estrada made a save, but the ball caromed to a Florida State player. Eventually, Jenna Nighswonger found Jody Brown for the goal. Nearly 20 minutes later, the two teams went to the lockerroom for halftime with SMU trailing 2-0.

Florida State found the back of the net for a third time just five minutes into the second half. Beata Olsson broke free from about 35 yards in front of the goal. Tatum Sutherland, who entered the match at halftime, appeared to make the save with a diving effort towards the feet of Olsson. However, Olsson and the ball managed to reconnect before Sutherland could get back to prevent the goal.

SMU had a chance 10 minutes later when the cross from Lindsey Whitmore made its way to the chest of Elisabeth Tse, but after a collision, which included the goalkeeper and another defender prior to a shot attempt, the ball bounded across the end line on the wrong side of the left post.

Gabby Carle put Florida State up 4-0 with a rocket in the 72nd minute. She took control of the ball 25 yards from the frame and launched a shot into the top-right corner of the goal, leaving no chance for Sutherland. The Seminoles added another goal two minutes after the SMU goal for the final 5-1 score line.

"The overall quality of the Florida State program is really impressive, and it's not just the soccer. The soccer is great, but it's a classy group of people. You come into these environments, and you want to create a hate for the other team. We just couldn't do it, they were just too nice. They were just too nice, and I just don't have enough good things to say about the program…It is the epidemy of everything that is right about college soccer, and I hope they win it all," Petrucelli said with a chuckle.

The Mustangs' 12 wins included 10 shutouts. SMU posted five consecutive shutouts, tied for the second longest streak in program history, and 552:08 consecutive scoreless minutes, second in program history. Six players were honored by the American Athletic Conference, with Courtney Sebazco earning first-team accolades. SMU was ranked in the United Soccer Coaches Top 25 Poll for nine straight polls, climbing as high as No. 14 for the first time since 2000.
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Re: No. 25 SMU Bows Out Of NCAA Tournament Against No. 1 FSU

Postby Terry Webster » Wed Dec 08, 2021 1:38 pm

Women end up 21 in the final ranking and were the only team to score a goal against FSU who ended up winning it all. Congrats on a great year. Lots to build on for next year.
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Re: No. 25 SMU Bows Out Of NCAA Tournament Against No. 1 FSU

Postby PonyPride » Wed Dec 08, 2021 3:38 pm

Whitmore's goal was the only one scored on Florida State in the entire NCAA Tournament
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